English language becomes an obvious key tool for success in international businesses. Secretaries play a crucial role to manage company administrative duties. Although they are exposed to the target language daily, writing problems in various types of documents still occur. Besides, the needs of English for their profession have scarcely been revealed. Specifically, only a few sources focus on English writing development for secretary. This study aims at investigating problems, wants, and abilities of the English writing skills of secretary using quantitative and qualitative methods. Questionnaires were distributed to thirty secretaries and ten managers to explore problems and wants in the field. Furthermore, in order to get in-depth information, the authentic written work-related documents were submitted by the secretaries to examine their English writing abilities in terms of grammar, content, word choices, and mechanics and style. The results showed that the problems were mainly found and perceived in minutes, emails, and reports, which interestingly corresponded to the managers’ wants for their secretary to improve. In addition, the secretaries indicated that they wanted to improve their writing skills in emails and reports. Lastly, the abilities in writing reports and memos were higher than in emails and minutes. In the end, the important implications of secretary’s writing skills will be presented in aspects of professional development for secretaries and course and content redesign for educators in order to serve the real needs for the better practice in the business as a whole.
Pasiree Kanhasuwan, Silpakorn University, Thailand
This paper is part of the CHER-HongKong2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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